By Nina Judar
10 tips for winter beautyNot only is the weather outside frightful, as the holiday song goes, but it can also make you look frightful. Between the icy dry air and wind outdoors and the hot dry air indoors, you may be contending with flaky skin, chapped lips, parched locks, raw hands, and more. Send those winter beauty woes packing with these head-to-toe pro tips and product picks.
1. SPEED-SHOWER It's counterintuitive, but getting soaked in water sucks the moisture out of skin. Stick to a five-minute shower to help prevent dryness. "Get in, get out," advises Ranella Hirsch, M.D., a dermatologist in Boston.Aveeno, Neutrogena, and Nivea products
2. DON'T DRY OFF COMPLETELY "The emollient in lotion seals in skin's own moisture," explains Dr. Hirsch, "so slather it on slightly damp skin. For an extra boost, look for a lotion with a humectant like glycerin, which simultaneously attracts moisture to skin." Try Nivea Express Hydration Daily Lotion with Hydra IQ ($9, drugstores).
3. SOOTHE WITH OATMEAL It's an anti-inflammatory that's gentle on skin, and no, you don't need a thick, breakfast-like paste to reap the benefit. Try the elegant Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash ($6, drugstores).
Related: The Dry Skin Workbook
4. SKIP SCENTS If your skin is sensitive, look for products without scents, which can be irritating. But buyer beware: "Unscented" products can include a masking scent to neutralize the odor of the product itself; that, too, can cause skin to react. Instead, look for "fragrance free" on the label - as on the Liquid Neutrogena facial cleanser ($7.50, drugstores).
5. GET YOUR H2O A humidifier is a surefire way to combat dry indoor heat, but in a pinch, try Dr. Hirsch's trick: Put a small bowl of water in every room that has radiant heat. It'll evaporate into the air and counteract some of the aridness.
Aquaphor, Sephora, and L'Occitane products6. GIVE NAILS TLC In the dry months, nails can become more brittle and break or peel. "Hydrate them with a hefty shea butter balm," says Jin Soon Choi, owner of Jin Soon Natural spas in New York City. Keep a mini L'Occitane 100% Pure Shea Butter ($10, loccitane.com) handy in your purse and rub it directly on nails.
Related: Skin-Soothing Solutions
7. HIT "PAUSE" ON POLISH It prevents lotions and balms from hydrating nails. To get nails healthy, keep them bare, and moisturize them every time you slather your hands. Once your breaking and peeling days are behind you, return to polish.
8. CATER TO CUTICLES Dry - and bleeding - cuticles need extra care, but applying balm or cuticle oil regularly throughout the day is more messy than practical. Instead, use a cuticle pen such as Sephora Original Nourishing Cuticle Oil ($12, sephora.com), so you can paint on a bit of oil when you need it.
9. MAKE YOUR OWN TREATMENT Steal this technique from one of our beauty editors: Slather on Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment ($5.50 to $17, drugstores), and put a pair of warm-from-the-dryer cotton socks on your hands for 30 minutes. By opening pores, heat helps the hydrator penetrate.
Related: When to Replace Your Winter Makeup
10. TRY A SEALANT New moms and other frequent hand-washers may benefit from Gloves In A Bottle ($16, glovesinabottle.com), with protective dimethicone. "It creates a clear barrier, so your hands are less compromised by constant washing," says Dr. Hirsch. Start by rubbing it on twice a day.
Get more winter beauty tips!
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